SOU will skip shortened football season

SOU opts out of spring football season

(Ashland, Ore.) – The Southern Oregon University football team will forgo the shortened spring football season and look toward the fall, SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre informed Frontier Conference officials on Friday, Feb. 12.

“We don’t make this decision lightly, and know there will be some disappointed Raiders,” Sayre said. “But the goal is a quality, high-level playing experience, and we feel much better about our ability to provide that six months from now.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced earlier in the week that the Oregon Health Authority would revise guidelines that had halted full-contact sports in the state during the pandemic, but the timeline for a return to regular activity remains uncertain. The first contest on SOU’s four-game Frontier schedule – which was reduced from the standard 10-game slate after being postponed in the fall – was set for March 20.

“We feel we are not prepared for the rigors and intensity of a college football season, largely because our players haven’t tackled, blocked or had contact of any kind in 450 days,” Sayre said. “It’s only fair to make this decision now for our Frontier Conference partners to be able to reschedule and adjust travel plans, and for our student-athletes to have a definitive direction.

“We’ve had conversations with colleagues at Portland State University, University of Montana and other regional institutions about their decisions to opt out of competition this spring and gained good insight into the value of a clear direction with an emphasis on the fall of 2021.”

SOU will plan to conduct a regular spring practice schedule. Each of the team’s seniors will have the option of returning in the fall.

“It’s an extremely difficult decision and heartbreaking for our seniors who are looking at options for after college, but it is the decision that’s in the best interest of our program,” said Raiders head coach Charlie Hall. “We can prepare our team in a traditional manner and be ready for the fall.”

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SOU Players of the Week

Tyson Cooper, Mitchell Pinney voted conference players of the week

Southern Oregon University football player Tyson Cooper and men’s soccer player Mitchell Pinney have been voted conference players of the week, the Frontier and Cascade league offices announced Monday.

Cooper was selected as the Frontier Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career following No. 3 SOU’s 27-0 win Saturday at Carroll (Montana). The all-conference linebacker made nine tackles and nixed the Saints’ first drive of the day with an interception, ultimately lifting the Raiders to their first shutout in 15 years.

Cooper, a senior from Gresham, has made a team-high 28 tackles this season for the Raiders, who are 4-0 and alone in first place with a bye this weekend.

Pinney, a senior forward from Hockinson, Wash., was voted the Cascade Offensive Player of the Week after Friday’s 2-0 win at Eastern Oregon and Sunday’s 10-1 win at Walla Walla (Washington). He scored both goals against the Mountaineers – including the game-winner just 27 seconds into his shift out of halftime – and recorded another goal with two assists against the Wolves.

Pinney leads the Raiders with 12 points (4 goals, 4 assists) on the year. In his three-year SOU career, he’s up to 14 goals with six game-winners.

The Raiders (7-2 overall, 4-0 CCC) are tied in first place with Corban entering two home games this weekend – Friday against Northwest Christian and Saturday against Corban.

From SOU Sports Information

SOU football game moved due to health concerns

NEWS RELEASE (available online at
(Ashland, Ore.) — Concerns for the health of participants and fans have resulted in the postponement and relocation of Southern Oregon University’s season-opening football game with Eastern Oregon University, which had been scheduled for Thursday evening in Ashland. The game will instead be played Saturday at a neutral site: Sherwood High School, just southwest of Portland.
Air Quality Index (AQI) readings earlier this week in Ashland consistently registered near the high end of the “unhealthy” level, at which everyone is advised to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. For example, the AQI on Wednesday afternoon was 193 – just seven points below the “very unhealthy” level, at which people from all age groups are susceptible to serious health effects.
Ashland’s air quality had improved on Thursday morning, but SOU Athletic Director Matt Sayre pointed out that conditions could change rapidly.
“What we know at this point is the fire in Brookings is still raging and there is still a better-than-average chance any game we schedule here could be smoked out,” Sayre said. “We had to make a decision at least two days in advance because of travel for both teams and the immense amount of effort that goes into producing a college football game, and we aren’t in a position to play chicken with the smoke and the health of our student-athletes.”
SOU considered various rescheduling scenarios before settling on the offer to play at 6 p.m. Saturday in Sherwood’s Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium. All previously purchased SOU-EOU tickets will be valid, and tickets will also be sold prior to the game at Sherwood High.
Refunds are available for those who previously purchased single-game tickets online for the SOU home game but cannot attend the contest in Portland. Those wishing to be refunded should contact the SOU athletic office from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, at (541) 552-6772.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit